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The theory of history and the “fourth revolution”

Edoardo Tortarolo – For a long time, the theory of history has had a bad reputation. Among practising historians engaged in the analysis of a specific issue, the conviction has long prevailed that through systematic recourse to a set of sources it was possible to narrate a past event in full and, in so doing, to present readers with an implicit or explicit analysis of an aspect of human life from the past. This strongly empirical and therefore anti-theoretical view resulted in considerable efforts throughout the twentieth century to understand the genesis of relevant realities of human life. It must be acknowledged that it also led to blatant distortions, whether intentional or unintentional, based on the ideological manipulation of sources.
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